Planning a road trip in Aotearoa New Zealand, if you’re doing the South Island don’t miss Otepoti Dunedin, this beautiful little bit of Scotland in the southern hemisphere will surprise and delight you.  The South Islands’ second-largest city has a population of only 134k, it’s big enough to have everything but small enough for a tourist to get a feel for its quirkiness.

Settled several times, by whalers, gold miners, and then eventually by the Free Church of Scotland, which is when it turned into the Edingburgh of NZ. Dunedin or Otepoti, its Maoui name, has beautiful historic buildings and easy access to the amazing natural wonders of the Otago Peninsula.

The most prominent building in town is the old Railway Station, this ornate Flemish Renaissance-style building is massive. It now houses the Sports Hall of Fame and Art Gallery on the upper floor and a restaurant on the ground floor.  On Saturdays, the outside precinct becomes a farmer’s market.


The churches of Dunedin are also quite grandiose and reflect the rich history and wealthy past of the region.





In order – The First Church of Otago, St Pauls, and St Josephs.  credit:

Larnach Castle is the most famous buildings in Dunedin.  The only castle in New Zealand, no surprise there!  A visit to the castle is mandatory for any first-timer to Dunedin. Take a guided tour of the castle and explore the award-winning gardens.  The elevation of the castle affords terrific views over the whole region.






Baldwin St. – the steepest street in the world, walk up it if you dare (or just drive up).

The Otago Peninsula – there is a family-owned Maouri company Horizon Tours who offer small group tours to explore the forests, beaches, and wildlife of the area.  The other amazing offering of the area is the amazing view of the night sky and the Aurora Australis.  Horizon can take you to the best places to view both and has great zero gravity chairs for lying back and floating into the sky…….

While traveling in New Zealand take the Taika promise:

Care for land, sea, and nature

Treading lightly and leaving no trace

Travel safely, showing care and consideration for all

Respect culture, traveling with an open heart and mind


Photo credits: Tourism NZ,  unless otherwise indicated


Shelley Richardson

Shelley has been working in the travel industry for over 30 years, in aviation, for tour operators and for the last three years for DriveNow. Having travelled extensively worldwide, alone, as a couple and with her family, Shelley has experience to share about how to make the most of your holiday

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